Definition <br />Personality:<br />Consistent behavior patterns and intrapersonal processes originating within the individual.<br />What it means…<br />Refers to an individual’s characteristic patterns of thoughts, emotions, and behavior, together with the psychological mechanisms (hidden or not) behind those patterns<br />Even though we share similarities as humans, each person is unique - that uniqueness is your personality!<br />
How Dowe study Personality?<br />Humans are incredibly complex and multifaceted, we can’t study everything at once…thus…<br />We try to limit what we look at by searching for specific patterns using a basic approach or theory<br />Six Theories/Approaches: Psychoanalytical, Trait, Biological, Humanist, Behavioral/Social Learning, and Cognitive(Note: Not all textbooks in Personality Theories organize the approaches in this manner – although this is a common differentiation)<br />Each theory/approach is a systematic, self-imposed limitation of studying personality<br />Each theory/approach correctly identifies and examines an important aspect of human personality<br />
Six Theories/Approaches:<br />Psychoanalytical Approach<br />Trait Approach<br />Biological approach<br />Humanistic Approach<br />Behavioral/Social Learning Approach<br />Cognitive Approach<br /> Let’s take a basic look at these approaches using an individual who is outgoing and try to explain why this person is outgoing…<br />
Psychoanalytical approach<br />This approach looks at the workings of the unconscious mind and the nature and resolution of internal mental conflict<br />Example: This person is outgoing to please their inner voice (they may not be aware of this). Their inner voice developed in relation to their early life experience and society.<br />
Trait Approach <br />This approach focuses on the way people differ from each other and how these differences can be conceptualized and measured as personality characteristics<br />Example: We would look at the behavior of this person and describe their outgoing personality as extroverted - as compared with introverted.<br />
Biological Approach<br />This approach tries to understand personality in terms of the body such as anatomy, chemistry, physiology, genetic inheritance, the brain, and shared evolutionary characteristics<br />Example: Our person genetically inherited their outgoing personality, in other words, they were born with an outgoing personality.<br />
Humanistic Approach<br /><ul><li>This approach explores the individual’s conscious experience with the world, the ways people have free will strive for self-acceptance</li></ul>Example: Our person has decided to be outgoing because it will help me be the person I want to be.<br />
Behaviorist/Social Learning <br /> The ways in which people change as a result of experience (the rewards and punishments or consequences they encounter) and how the social environment influences personality<br />Example: Our person has been rewarded for being outgoing and has learned to be outgoing from the observation of other outgoing people.<br />
Cognitive <br /> How the cognitive processes of perception, memory and thought affect behavior and personality<br />Example: Our person has a perception of him/herself as an outgoing person.<br />
Culture and Personality<br />Cross-Cultural Psychology<br />This area of personality psychology reminds us that the experience of reality varies across cultures<br />Most research about personality has been completed in western, individualistic cultures<br />This research may not be applicable to people from other cultures <br />
Individualistic and Collectivistic Cultures<br />Differences in Individualistic and Collectivistic Cultures:<br />Individualistic EmphasisCollectivistic Emphasis<br />Individual needs Group needs<br />Individual achievements Group achievements<br />Competition Cooperation<br />Example: How do we measure achievement?<br />IndividualisticCollectivistic<br />Individual success Group success<br />Personal recognition Group (not personal) recognition <br />
The Study of Personality<br />Theory<br />Comprehensive model of how personality is structured<br />Application<br />Apply knowledge gained from theory and research to issues that directly affect people’s lives<br />Assessment<br />Ways to measure personality (get ready – you will be taking a lot of personality tests this quarter!) specific to each theoretical approach<br />Research<br />Theoretically generated research leading to new questions and more research in order to further define and refine a theory<br />
Some ideas to consider…<br />Here are a few of the big ideas in personality that each theoretical approach must address:<br />Nature or nurture…or both?<br />Is your personality a product of your heredity or shaped by the environment you grew up in…or a combination of both?<br />Conscious or unconscious determinants of behavior?<br />To what extent are you aware of your behavior and why you do the thing you do?<br />Free will or determinism?<br />Do you decide your own fate or is your behavior subject to forces outside of your control?<br />
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